April 18, 2009

TARGET RICH ENVIRONMENT:

The Enemies Within (CHARLES M. BLOW, 4/18/09, NY Times)

A report issued last summer by former President Bush’s F.B.I. entitled “White Supremacist Recruitment of Military Personnel since 9/11” said that “military experience is found throughout the white supremacist extremist movement” and that these groups “have attempted to increase their recruitment of current and former U.S. military personnel.”

So, which soldiers are most vulnerable? According to the Homeland Security report, it would probably be those “facing significant challenges reintegrating into their communities.” This could be a large group because far too many soldiers come back from war broken men. According to a RAND study released on Friday, 300,000 veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan reported some sign of post-traumatic stress disorder or major depression. It said that only about half of those will seek help and only half of those seeking it will receive “minimally adequate” treatment.

These soldiers could prove fertile ground for men hoping to prey on their fear, loneliness and dispossession.

And those extremist leaders may be able to connect more easily with some of these soldiers because many were soldiers themselves. According to the F.B.I. report, “although individuals with military backgrounds constitute a small percentage of white supremacist extremists, they frequently occupy leadership roles.”

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 18, 2009 7:34 AM
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